Strangers on a train(1951)


This Alfred Hitchcock psychological thriller when released was way ahead of it’s time.Not to mention that it still maintains its freshness, decades after its release.That’s Alfred Hitchcock for you.He is without doubt one of the greatest film makers ever to have walked the earth.The above picture is an iconic shot from the movie and is still discussed in the film institutes all over the world.And nothing is finished about this film without talking about its breathtaking cinematography.Robert Burks, hats off to you.

The film revolves around two strangers who meet on a train.One is an amateur  tennis player Guy Haines  and the other one a charming psychopath Bruno Anthony.Bruno is a very unusual personality and knows a little too much about Guy’s personal life.Guy is on the verge of a divorce  with his vulgar wife Miriam who is even pregnant with someone else’s kid.He hopes to have a peaceful life with his current love Anne Morton after getting the divorce.Bruno keeps on asking questions about his personal life and this annoys Guy.Bruno tells Guy about his idea for the perfect murders: that  Bruno will kill Miriam, and in exchange Guy will kill Bruno’s father and this way they can’t be caught.Guy annoyed by all this leaves in a hurry.But Guy’s cigarette lighter is left with Bruno, and this happens to be a very important turn out, later in the film.Though without the agreement of Guy, Bruno murders Guy’s wife Miriam in an amusement park and threatens him to close the deal by murdering his father.Meanwhile the police are already on Guy’s trail as he is the only suspect.Guy finds himself in a deep agony.Anne visits Bruno’s house and tells his  mother  that her son is responsible for a murder, but the woman wont believe her. Bruno overhearing the conversation tells Anne that he still has Guy’s lighter.That means he could still implant it in the murder site leading all the ways to Guy.So Guy needs to reach the murder site before Bruno implants that lighter.But unfortunately Guy has a tennis match the same day which he cant drop, because that can be suspicious.So he plans to finish the match as soon as possible and then go to the site of the murder.Meanwhile someone in the park identifies Bruno from the night of the murder and informs the police.Bruno on seeing Guy jumps on to a merry go round.Guy too jumps onto it.Police shots a fire killing the merry go round operator.The ride spins wildly and is out of control.Guy and Bruno gets into a fight in the ride.Finally the ride crashes and Bruno is brutally wounded.Guy explains to the Police that Bruno is at the amusement park to plant Guy’s lighter there. With his last breath Bruno lies to the police, but after death Bruno’s fingers open to reveal Guy’s lighter.

Farley Granger as Guy Haines had given out a remarkable performance.The role demanded him to be an innocent man accidentally involved into a murder of his own wife.He did that with elan.But Robert Walker walked away with the cake.His portrayal as the cunning  and charming psychopath is totally mind blowing.

My previous post was on Black Swan which was released in 2010.The film dealt with stuff   like doppleganger effects. Now, this film of Hitchcock is one of the earliest films to have dealt with the same idea.There’s one scene in this film when he calls Anne and tells her he wants to “strangle” Miria.Now he has that desire of killing his wife in  his deep minds.And therefore Bruno is indirectly depicted as an alter ego of Guy.

This film continues to inspire the  film lovers around the world and is still a topic of discussion in the film institutes.Also the film has been an inspiration for other films, the latest being the ‘Horrible Bosses’.

My Rating : 8.8